City to host Sept. 10 meeting on new bike boulevard | September 6, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 6, 2013

City to host Sept. 10 meeting on new bike boulevard

Public input sought for Matadero-Margarita avenues project

by Sue Dremann

A new, bicycle-friendly route from Park Boulevard to Laguna Avenue in Palo Alto will be the topic of discussion at a community meeting Sept. 10, city officials announced.

Called the Matadero-Margarita Bicycle Boulevard, the 0.8-mile corridor will extend along Margarita Avenue in the city's Ventura neighborhood and Matadero Avenue in Barron Park.

More than simply demarcating bike lanes, the boulevard would use striping, safety features, signage and "sharrows" — markings that indicate the area of roadway to be shared by bikes and vehicles — every 350 feet or closer. The sharrows would position cyclists in the travel lane and away from pedestrians and the "door zone" of parked cars.

City of Palo Alto staff Tuesday will present the draft concept plan, which includes ideas from 38 residents who attended an initial May 15 gathering. During that meeting, residents asked the city to provide data on car speeds and volume for the corridor and for other streets for comparison. They asked staff to add sidewalks along Matadero and to adjust traffic-signal timing at the intersection of El Camino Real and Margarita/Matadero.

Other concerns included lighting, parked cars and overgrown landscaping.

The draft concept plan currently includes features such as:

* Laguna and Matadero avenues: Adding a crosswalk and bike markings to help pedestrians and cyclists cross the intersection and alert drivers to cyclists' presence.

* Chimalus Drive and Tippawingo Street: Add speed humps to slow traffic.

* Josina Avenue/Matadero Avenue/Tippawingo Street intersection: Add a possible pedestrian bridge; add three new crosswalks; narrow the travel lane to increase safety for pedestrians; add asphalt curbs along the road.

* El Camino Real/Matadero and Margarita avenues intersection: Upgrade and reconfigure crosswalks; add bike-detector stencils to position cyclists to trip the traffic signal sensor; possibly add microwave detectors for bike detection, if approved by Caltrans.

* Margarita Avenue/Orinda Street intersection: Remove stops on Margarita, replace them with a traffic circle to reduce vehicle speed; keep stop signs on Orinda.

* Park Boulevard/Margarita Avenue intersection: Widen bike slots through the traffic island.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Barron Park Elementary School Multipurpose Room, 800 Barron Ave., Palo Alto. It is the second public event since a kickoff in May to solicit public input into the proposed project.

Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at


Posted by parent, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 6, 2013 at 12:01 am

The city has developed some nice bicycle routes in the neighborhoods east of El Camino Real, but neighborhoods west of El Camino are still struggling to catch up. Part of the problem is the really haphazard design of the streets on the west side of town, but hopefully the city can improve bicycle safety by improving the design of intersections to give bicyclists better visibility and a better indication of what direction to take through confusing intersections.

Posted by Frank, a resident of Ventura
on Sep 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm

This section of Matadero Ave (the first few blocks from El Camino into Barron Park) is particularly difficult to design around - each building has a different parking design - parallel, perpendicular, on street and off. I think all this was done before Barron Park was part of Palo Alto.

Another problem is Matadero is the first street that can enter the neighborhood from the north and west so a lot of traffic is forced onto it.

Since there's no longer a school in Ventura Neighborhood all of the Children who live there must bicycle, walk or get driven down Matadero, Barron, Los Robles or Maybell. Maybell has sidewalks, speed bumps and marking but none of the other streets have any of these. It's good to see something finally happening.

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